Four former athletes and four coaches will be inducted into the third class of the Carroll County High School Sports Hall of Fame on January 22, 2016 at CCHS.
The ceremony will take place in between Carroll County’s varsity girls’ and boys’ basketball games with Christiansburg. The ceremony is expected to take place at approximately 7 p.m., depending on the length of the varsity girls’ game.
The third CCHS Sports Hall of Fame Class includes four graduates from 2000-2011, in addition to two current coaches and two former coaches. This year’s inductees include athletes Kimberly Caudill, Tee Jackson, Ingrid (Easter) Hodges, and Kayla (Goins) Nester. Coaches to be enshrined at the January 22 ceremony include former CCHS coaches Robin Whittington and Howard Mayo, and current coaches Rick Nester and Cindy Edwards.
A 2009 graduate of CCHS, Caudill is the most decorated volleyball player in the history of Carroll County High School. During her four years as a Cavalier, she set numerous school records, including most career kills (974), most career blocks (364), most kills in a season (406 in 2008), most blocks in a season (150 in 2008), most kills in a game (28) and most blocks in a game (11).
Caudill was such a force for Carroll County she was named Southwest District Player of the Year twice (2007 and 2008), Region IV Player of the Year in 2008 and a second-team all-state selection in 2008. She went on to play in the state’s East-West All-Star game in 2008 and was a four-year starter at Emory & Henry College. She now serves as an assistant volleyball coach at CCHS.
A 2003 graduate of CCHS, Tee Jackson is Carroll County’s all-time leading scorer with 1,358 career points. Jackson’s career got off to a swift start as he became just the third freshman in Cavalier basketball history to play varsity basketball. He started every game in the 1999-2000 season, scoring in double figures in 12 of the 24 games that year, including a 36-point explosion at Tazewell. He averaged 10.8 points per game and became the first freshman in CCHS history to be selected first-team all-district as he led the Timesland in 3-point shooting percentage at 50 percent.
Jackson averaged 11.9 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3 assists per contest as a sophomore, shooting 52 percent from the floor, 78 percent from the foul line and 36 percent from 3-point range. During his junior season, Jackson averaged 17.5 points per game as he scored double figures in 20 of the team’s 24 games. He was selected first-team All-Southwest District and Second-Team All-Region IV.
Jackson surpassed the 1,000-point milestone for his career in just the fourth game of his senior season and became the all-time boys’ leading scorer in a win over Marion later in the year. He was selected first-team all-district and first-team all-region and was an honorable mention Group AA state selection as a senior. Jackson was named Student Athlete of the Year in his graduating class and Athlete of the Year. His jersey is now retired and he went on to play four years at Roanoke College, where he still ranks 10th all-time in 3-pointers with 114.
Also a 2003 graduate of CCHS, Ingrid Easter Hodges had an incredible career for the Cavaliers as she was a two-time Southwest District Player of the Year, a three-time selection to the All-Southwest District first team, and a two-time pick to the All-Region IV first team. She was also twice an honorable mention to the All-State Virginia Coaches Association and Girls’ Basketball AA Coaches Association teams.
Hodges finished her Carroll career in 2002 as the Cavaliers’ all-time leader in assists (427) and steals (380). She also finished her career as Carroll’s second all-time leading scorer (1,338 points) and tied for sixth in career rebounds (444). During her four-year career, she led the Cavaliers to an 89-13 record. Also a two-time all-district selection in softball, she went on to receive a full scholarship to Catawba, where she played basketball for four years.
A 2010 graduate of CCHS, Kayla Goins Nester ranks in the top six of every major career statistical category in girls’ basketball history at the school. She ranks second all-time on the school’s career steals list with 333, third on the all-time scoring list with 1,307 points, fourth in career rebounds with 740, and sixth in assists for a career with 284. She also holds the school’s single-season record for steals with 122 in one season.
A four-year varsity player, Nester was a three-time All-Southwest District first-team selection. She was named an All-Timesland Sizzling Sophomore in 2008 and was First-Team All-Region IV her junior and senior seasons and honorable mention all-state both of those years. As a senior, she also played in the state’s East-West All-Star Game, was a Wendy’s Heisman High School winner and the CCHS Female Athlete of the Year in 2010. Nester went on to play four years of collegiate basketball at Ferrum College.
Among the four coaches to be inducted into the CCHS Sports Hall of Fame is long-time Carroll coach Robin Whittington. A four-sport coach at Carroll, Whittington is estimated to have coached more than 1,000 games at the school, believed to be the most by any CCHS coach.
Most known for his baseball coaching, Whittington coached JV baseball the first two years after CCHS opened in 1969 and served as a varsity baseball assistant until 1994. Alongside with the late, great Bill Worrell, the two built one of the state’s premier baseball programs.
Whittington also started the cross country team at CCHS in 1970 and led Carroll to a seventh-place finish in the state in just the second year of the program. Whittington also served as a JV football assistant coach from 1969-70 and 1976-79, including one undefeated team and one 1-loss squad. He also served as a varsity football assistant under Coach Worrell for one season.
Whittington also guided Carroll’s basketball teams, leading the JV basketball program from 1969-73 before taking over as the varsity coach from 1973-76. He also served coaching stints at other schools in the county, including the 9th grade basketball team at Woodlawn Intermediate School from 1991-93, 8th grade football at Woodlawn from 1991-93, and four years as a basketball and baseball coach at Sylvatus Junior High.
Although he didn’t attend school in Carroll County, Howard Mayo built a struggling CCHS girls’ basketball program into a state powerhouse during his tenure at the school. Known as a program builder, Mayo put the girls’ basketball program at CCHS on the map. He took a program that was not successful to three straight Southwest District regular season and district tournament titles.
His teams won 30 straight SWD games and were the runners-up in the 2000 season in the Region IV Tournament. The team reached the state quarterfinals for the first time in school history that same year. He racked up over 150 wins in his time at CCHS and nine of his players went on to play college basketball.
Mayo’s career at CCHS began with the boys’ basketball program, where he was an assistant coach for a boys’ team that made it to the State Tournament in 1991.After leading the Carroll girls to their first playoff appearance in 1994, he was named New River District Coach of the Year.
A year later, he guided the Lady Cavs to their first-ever Region IV victory. In 1999, he was named Coach of the Year in the Southwest District after the team won a then-school record 21 games, including the regular season and tournament titles. The team also finished as Region IV runners-up and state quarterfinalists. He was also named the Coach of the Year by The Roanoke Times.
Mayo was again named Southwest District Coach of the Year in 2000 and 2001. In 2000, the team set a school record with 21 consecutive wins and broke the school record again for wins in a season with 23. In 2001, the team won the SWD regular season and tournament titles and made the Region IV semis. Mayo went on to take another job at Starmount and later Mount Airy, both in North Carolina. His teams have consistently been as good as they were at Carroll as he now has over 350 career coaching victories.
Coach Rick Nester will be inducted in to the CCHS Sports Hall of Fame after the most successful season by any team in any sport at Carroll in 2015. Nester guided the 2015 girls’ softball team to Carroll County High School’s first team state championship in the 46-year history of the school. He accomplished the feat in just his third year of coaching softball after a 29-year career of coaching baseball. He was named the Virginia 4A State Coach of the Year and the Conference 24 Coach of the Year in 2015. Nester has dedicated himself to the school and the softball program, working tirelessly to improve the facilities, the team, and the school.
Another coaching icon in the annals of CCHS history, Coach Cindy Edwards will be inducted into the school’s Sports Hall of Fame in the midst of an incredible coaching career. After the 2015 season, she has amassed 326 career volleyball victories, which ranks in the top 10 in Virginia state history. Edwards’ teams have won 16 district titles, advanced to the state’s Elite 8 twice and she has been named Southwest District Coach of the Year 10 times. As a softball coach, she led Carroll to the first regional title in school history in 1991. She continues to guide a highly successful JV softball program at CCHS.
Allen Worrell can be reached at (276) 779-4062 or on Twitter@AWorrellTCN